Data warehouse and data mining systems. The rapid growth of enterprise-wide applications and internet-basedonline transaction processing is clearly responsible for the proliferation of what hasgrown to multi-terabyte databases within single organizations. The problem is manyof the client/server LAN/WAN networks in use today, if based on the SCSI physicalinterface, simply can’t handle the data storage load. But even more importantly,they are reaching their upper limits in providing effective data reliability,availability, scalability, performance and management. That’s why SANs have become the data storage solution of choiceamong today’s leading-edge companies. SANs solve business challenges and servecustomers better and research shows that the SAN market is growing rapidly:
International Data Corp. (IDC) estimates that by 2003, almost half of all salesof externally attached disk arrays will be connected to a SAN, and total spendingon storage solutions will grow to $53 billion.
Forrester Research projects that over two-thirds of data administrators areconsidering SAN installations over the next 12 months.
IBM predicts that by 2003, some 70 percent of all medium and largeenterprises will install Fibre Channel SAN solutions.
Dataquest forecasts a tenfold increase in terabytes shipped of RAID by 2003,compared to 1998; it also forecasts an increase of data management softwaresales from $4.2 billion in 1999 to $12.1 billion in 2003.
According to peripheral concepts, more than 50 percent of today’s sharedstorage will be reorganized into SANs by 2002.
The traditional approach: server-based storage over SCSI
About twenty years ago, mainframe computing in the enterprisebegan to be replaced by the distributed, open systems client/server model we seetoday. Individual organizations throughout the world now have hundreds, perhapsthousands, of distributed servers and client systems in place to support ongoingbusiness operations.In addition, external storage is typically connected to serversthrough SCSI technology. Disk arrays, either JBODs (just a bunch of disks) ordifferent implementations of RAID (redundant array of independent disks) aredirectly attached to their particular, dedicated host servers.IT administrators commonly describe this as “host-attached” or“direct-attached storage” (DAS).Furthermore, servers, clients and external storage systems areinterconnected on LANs and WANs, running various mission-critical applications.Because of this, most IT departments end up managing and maintaining a wide varietyof different operating systems (NT, Linux, Solaris, NetWare, etc.), database softwarepackages (Oracle, SQL, etc.) or other applications- and all on a variety of differenthardware platforms (Sun, HP, Compaq, etc.).